Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Released by Penguin on 7 April 2015
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Last year, this book was released and it almost instantly became one of the most popular books that year. I’d added it to my to-read list, but never really picked it up, not even when I found out I would be meeting the author, Becky Albertalli. This month I finally decided to pick up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because I had gotten rather curious after all.
Let me start off by saying that, while I did enjoy this book, I still don’t get the hype that much. It’s not an incredibly special book, in my opinion. I mean, sure the main character is gay but other than that it was just a nice contemporary book. Maybe it’s because I am just not that ‘surprised’ over gay people or something like that (I mean the majority of my friends are either gay, bi, trans, etc etc), and maybe I just only saw the typical contemporary elements that almost every book in this genre seems to have (sorry not sorry, still not a fan of contemporary books).
Simon was a very nice character, and I really liked his family. His friends were cool too, and I loved the tradition of having cake during lunch every time someone in the group had their birthday. As for Blue, I enjoyed the email exchange between him and Simon, and I honestly wish there had been more emails (say one or two emails, like the initial email and a reply, at the beginning of each chapter), but that is just me being a fan of books that aren’t formatted in the ‘usual’ way. One thing I was rather indifferent about was the Oreo diet. To me Oreo’s are like Maltesers, one or two are nice, but I cannot eat more than that in one go. I used to eat them almost every day a couple of years ago, and after a while, I just didn’t like them anymore.
I honestly just don’t really get people’s obsession with these things.
The writing was very nice, and I honestly got through the book so fast, I believe I started it on the 25th and finished it the day after. So I guess this book kind of healed my reading slump, points for that! I think I’ll pick up another book by Becky, although I am not 100% sure if I’ll pick up a sequel to Simon because this book was a really nice standalone, and I’m afraid a sequel might ruin the original story for me.
I recommend this book to people who love books by John Green, especially those that loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
My opinion in one gif: